ACC teams and athletes have claimed dozens of national championships in multiple sports throughout the conference's history. Generally, the ACC's top athletes and teams in any particular sport in a given year are considered to be among the top collegiate competitors in the nation. Also, the conference enjoys extensive media coverage. The ACC was one of the six collegiate power conferences, which had automatic qualifying for their football champion into the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). With the advent of the College Football Playoff in 2014, the ACC is one of five conferences with a contractual tie-in to a "New Year's Six" bowl game, the successors to the BCS.
The ACC was founded on May 8, 1953 by seven universities located in the South Atlantic States, with the University of Virginia joining in Early December 1953 to bring the membership to eight. The loss of South Carolina in 1971 dropped membership to seven, while the addition of Georgia Tech in 1979 for non-football sports and 1983 for football brought it back to eight, and Florida State's arrival in 1991 for non-football sports and 1992 for football increased the membership to nine. Since 2000, with the widespread reorganization of the NCAA, seven additional schools have joined, and one original member (Maryland) has left to bring it to the current membership of 15 schools. The additions in recent years extended the conference's footprint into the Northeast and Midwest.
ACC member universities represent a range of well-regarded private and public universities of various enrollment sizes, all of which participate in the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Consortium whose purpose is to "enrich the educational missions, especially the undergraduate student experiences, of member universities".
The Florida State University (commonly referred to as Florida State or FSU) is a space-grant and sea-grantpublic university located in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. It is a comprehensive doctoralresearch university with medical programs and significant research activity as determined by the Carnegie Foundation. The university comprises 15 separate colleges and 39 centers, facilities, labs and institutes that offer more than 300 programs of study, including professional programs. Florida State was officially established in 1851 and is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida. Florida State University was declared in 2010 to be a "Budget Ivy" university by the Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College. In 1935 Florida State University was awarded the first chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in Florida and is among the ten percent of American universities to have earned a chapter of the national academic honor society.
Florida State is a flagship university in the State University System of Florida. As one of Florida's primary graduate research universities, Florida State University awards over 2,000 graduate and professional degrees each year. In 2007, Florida State was placed in the first tier of research universities by the Florida Legislature, a distinction allowing FSU, along with the University of Florida, to charge 40% higher tuition than other institutions in the State University System of Florida.
The Florida State University is also home to nationally ranked programs in many academic areas, including the sciences, engineering, social policy, film, music, theater, dance, visual art, business, political science, psychology, social work, medicine, and law. Florida State is home to Florida's only National Laboratory – the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and is the birthplace of the commercially viable anti-cancer drug Taxol.
The Pittsburgh Panthers, commonly also referred to as the Pitt Panthers, are the athletic teams representing the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt fields 19 university-sponsored varsity teams. Varsity men's sports sponsored by the university are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, soccer, swimming & diving, indoor and outdoor track & field, and wrestling; while sponsored women's varsity sports include basketball, cross country, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball. Pitt will officially join the ACC for all sports on July 1, 2013.
The university's athletic program is one of only five current NCAA Division 1A schools to have won multiple national championships in both football (9) and basketball (2), and the Panthers have been ranked as having among the best combinations of football and basketball programs by multiple publications over the past decade.
Pitt began playing men's basketball in 1905 and won two Helms Foundation National Championships in 1927–28 and 1929–30 when coached by Naismith Hall of Fame inductee "Doc" Carlson. Following a Final Four appearance in 1941, Pitt appeared in a handful of NCAA tournaments prior to entering the Big East Conference in 1982 after which it began to reemerge on the national statge. In the 2000s, it has achieved a level of consistent national competitiveness that has included 10 straight NCAA tournament appearances with five Sweet 16 appearances and an Elite Eight appearance in 2009. Pitt men's basketball plays its home games at the Petersen Events Center and is coached by Jamie Dixon.